The ex-Belgium captain parted ways with RSC Anderlecht on Wednesday after guiding the club to a top three finish in First Division A as well as a Belgian Cup final.
The centre back made 285 appearances for City in the Premier League, winning four titles and two FA Cups, and also claimed the Premier League Player of the Season gong a decade ago.
The champions, and boss Pep Guardiola, hold their former skipper in high regard so we’ve taken a closer look at some of the youngsters that might be allowed to join the Clarets on loan in the Championship.
1. Gavin Bazunu (Goalkeeper)
Even if Burnley receive an offer they can't refuse for England international Nick Pope, they still have Wales and Northern Ireland first choice keepers Wayne Hennessey and Bailey Peacock-Farrell. However, Nathan Collins' Republic of Ireland team-mate could add to that competition. The 20-year-old spent last season on loan at Portsmouth where he was named the club's Players' Player and Player of the Season.
Photo: Oisin Keniry
2. Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Defender)
Another City starlet with Championship experience after spells on loan with Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City. The 20-year-old has already played under Vincent Kompany having featured 16 times for Anderlecht at the start of last season. He made his professional debut for City in an EFL Cup tie against Preston North End in 2019 and went on to appear in the Champions League group stages as City beat Dinamo Zagreb 4-1. The defender scored his first goal for City two years ago against Port Vale in the FA Cup.
Photo: Jan Kruger
3. Kayky (Forward)
The Brazilian teenager is an incredibly exciting prospect, who joined from Brasileirão Série A side Fluminese last year. The 18-year-old, whose fee was believed to be in the vicinity of €10 million, made his City debut against Swindon Town in the FA Cup in January, when replacing Cole Palmer, while his Premier League debut arrived the following month as he replaced Riyad Mahrez in a 4–0 away win over Norwich City.
Photo: Stephen Pond
4. CJ Egan-Riley (Defender)
The 19-year-old defender made his first team debut in September 2021 during an EFL Cup tie against Wycombe Wanderers and two months ago the teenager made his bow in the UEFA Champions League as City shared a goalless draw with Sporting CP in the Round of 16. The England Under 19 international then went on to appear in the Premier League for the first time at the start of the month in a 5-0 win over Newcastle United at the Etihad.
Photo: Gareth Copley